If you’re from out of town and not all that familiar with the area, a day of bike rental from the Santa Monica Bike Center really can’t be beat. Easy to get to, hundreds of parking spaces, reasonable rates, extended hours, and friendly service makes this our first choice.
Located at 1555 2nd Street at Colorado. (310)656-8500.
On a very busy summer weekend they had plenty of bikes left mid afternoon.
If $30 a day seems high, consider that is open to close! M-Thur 6:30am to 10pm
Fri 6:30am – midnight, Sat 8am to midnight, Sunday 8 am to 8 pm Not only that but for $5 more you can keep the bike overnight until noon the next day! Price includes a lock and a helmet if you like. To rent a bike you’ll leave a government issue ID or an imprint of your credit card.
Six floors of parking.
$9 All Day Flat Rate.
Two blocks from Santa Monica Pier your gateway to the bike path. Head south to Venice!
There’s a massive parking lot just north of the Santa Monica pier. If you’re coming from the North, heading South on PCH, it’s a breeze to get here. Just take that ramp on your right before your turn East onto the 10.
If you’re on the 10 heading West, you want to try to avoid the situation where you’re stuck on the PCH trying to make a left into one of the beach lots. Weekends are busy.
Santa Monica pier offers these directions if you’re heading West on the 10.
From the north or south on the 405 Freeway, take I-10 West. Drive west on I-10 and exit freeway at 4th/5th Street exit. Go north on 5th St. to Colorado Ave. Make a left on Colorado Ave. and drive straight to the Pier at Ocean Avenue. If the parking lot is full (if the lot on the pier is full you’ll be directed to) make a left turn on Ocean Avenue and proceed two blocks. Make a right turn on Seaside Terrace. Follow sign to Pier/Beach parking.
Either way you want to end up here. Looking West from Appian Way.
Rates today were General $8. Buses $48. and RV’s $32.
Let’s get our bearings. Looking North from the pier.
On the left is the Veterans For Peace memorial installation.
We’re less than a quarter mile North of the bike rental places we looked at in the last post. About a 1/2 mile further north is our final bike rental destination. Another Perrys! Where Arizona would meet the sand, if there wasn’t a cliff.
We’re in the area of the Santa Monica Pier. This smaller lot at 1670 Appian Way is at Pacific Terrace. There’s another smaller lot off of Appian Way at Seaview Terrace. These are both Pay by Space lots. Price at this time was $8.
That’s very Santa Monica, to actually have a number to call if you have a problem.
(310) 345-6718. Pay by cell phone has recently been added.
Here’s where we’re at. The green space adjacent the sand is a favorite place for gymnasts to meet on the weekends. Lots of monkey bars to work out on. The ring swing.
Let’s get bikes! First up is Spokes ‘n Stuff. Located right next to the monkey bars. It’s that little storefront at the end of the ring swing. That’s Lowes hotel in the background.
In case you can’t read that, a crusier goes for $7.50 an hour or $22. a day.
A little father north right next to the stairs to the pier is Sea Mist Skate and Bike rentals. 1619 Ocean Front Walk.
Bikes or Blades $7 an hour or $17 all day. Are those the best rates we’ve seen so far? I am looking for best prices on the bike path.
As long as we’re here let’s take a look around (though I’ll leave the pier for another time).
Here’s a view of the pier from the bike path.
Rings, ropes, monkey bars.
The gymnastics green.
The chess park.
A bite to eat? (There’s lots of food around here and on the pier. These are a couple notable for their uniqueness.) Hot Dog Stick
West of Ocean Ave on Hollister is a Pay by Space lot. It’s separated by a fence from the rest of the larger lot and uses a machine to create a receipt to display in your dash.
1. Park your vehicle. 2. Note your space number. 3. Pay at machine.
Yet another Perry’s is nearby to server your food and bicycle needs!
2600 Ocean Front Walk.
Here’s the bike path, next to Perrys, with the Santa Monica Pier in the background.
There are a dozen volleyball nets available.
We’re about a half mile North of Hollister now at Bicknell. That’s the Casa del Mar hotel in the background.
There’s often an attendant at the Bicknell lot. When there isn’t you pay at the machine. I believe it’s $5. Tip – exiting the Bicknell lot on a busy weekend evening can lead to being stuck in a long line. Turn around and exit at Hollister.
We cross into Santa Monica when we cross Navy. There’s a large parking lot off of Barnard Way, just south of Ocean Park. Where Ocean Park meets the sand is another Perrys, this one with a cafe.
Remember, bike rental rates are subject to seasonal changes.
One of the new Santa Monica restrooms. People who are complaining about the cost of the new facilities must not remember the old ones.
Adjacent to the bike path here at Ocean Park is a kid’s playground. There’s also a green space (sometimes used for soccer) and Hey, is that another Perrys in the distance?
Nearing the North end of the Venice Boardwalk now. Another city parking lot. Careful crossing the boardwalk! When there’s no attendant the price is $5 at the machine.
What do you know, another Perry’s bike rentals. Right in the parking lot.
If you walk a little south you can find Boardwalk Bike Rentals.
Or a little North and you can find Boardwalk Skate at Ozone.
If perchance you’ve developed a thirst, you’re in the right place. Within stumbling distance of each other are The Venice Bistro (with live music on the weekends)…
323 Ocean Front Walk, Venice CA90291
The On The Waterfront Cafe 205 Ocean Front Walk (310) 392-0322
Get a groove on.
and The Venice Ale House 2 Rose Avenue (at Ocean Front Walk) (310) 314-8253
Got to give a shout out to my favorite eatery on the Boardwalk. A few blocks north of Rose at Paloma, Figtree’s Cafe. Nice food, great service and only a little pricey. You can’t beat the view. 429 Ocean Front Walk (310) 392-4937
Heading North we’re about to enter Santa Monica, but that’s where we can really get our ride on. Next stop is Ocean Park and yes, another Perrys.
Where Windward meets the beach is probably the center of Venice Beach proper.
There are a few park and pay spots right on Windward West of Pacific, but not many, and the lots here are expensive. There’s also no U-turn so your only way out is a turn South at Speedway and that gets ugly. There’s actually quite a lot of street parking East of Pacific in the residential streets around the ‘Venice Circle’ but they go quick on the weekends.
At the corner of Windward and Pacific is Café Collage a great place to grab an espresso as you head in. Next to the Cafe is a local market that features great sandwiches. if you need some cash, there’s a Bank America.
Artist Jonas Never’s ‘Touch of Venice, is a new mural. This parking lot charges $15. It’s on your right just before you have to make the left turn at Speedway
where you’ll find this lot. On this busy Sunday they were charging $20, but on a slower day I’ve seen it as low as $10.
Let’s grab a bike! Jay’s Rentals. NW corner of Windward & Speedway. P.S. You can see a bit of an R. Cronk mural on the West side of the Cotel. Worth checking out.
They got it all! By the way, you’re only about a block away from the bike rental places at
Speedway and 17th or 18th that we looked at back at North Venice Blvd.
You made it! You’re here!
Before we leave Windward, I want to point out a couple of spots in case you’re in need of food or drink. There’s Danny’s Deli, 23 Windward Avenue. With the Venice Beach Cotel upstairs – it’s a hostel right on the beach!
A little more upscals is Larry’s 24 Windward Avenue which sees a lot of action at night too.
(I’ll have to go back and get a picture of Larry’s). Next door is The Cairo Cowboy, which is new but I’ve been hearing great things. At 46 Windward Avenue
Next door is The Townhouse. A real bar that will make you feel like you’re stepped back in time. 52 Windward. Cocktails.
Looking West from the Venice Blvd parking lot. That’s the Venice Breakwater in the distance, where the locals surf. Lifeguard tower 19.
Looking North. In the distance you can see the handball courts.
Adjacent to the handball courts are the workout bars. With the paddle tennis courts in the background.
Muscle Beach (closed on this Easter Sunday but usually full of iron pumpers).
Kid’s playground. You can see the back of the police substation in the background.
Venice Beach is a park. Here are the rules.
The park has its own LAPD substation.
Mark di Suvero’s 60-foot-tall sculpture Declaration, 1999 – 2001, next to the Venice Art Walls (graffiti by appointment).
And finally, the Venice Skate Park. You’re seeing the backs of people watching the skateboarders do their thing. On this side of the bike path is a place to dance! Sometimes it’s the hoola hoopers and sometimes it’s the roller bladers.
This is actually the trickiest part of the bike path to navigate. People are crossing over to the skate park and they’re not realizing they’re crossing a bike path. Horn recommended.
All of this has happened in the space between the parking lot at Venice Blvd. North and where Windward meets the beach.
North Venice Blvd. runs right into this lot. It’s a large lot and costs $5.
When it gets busy, it turns into a real bottleneck.
You’ll pass another lot on your way in. This one’s just East of Pacific at Dell. A hefty $15 on this busy weekend.
Look south from this lot and you can catch a glimpse of the Venice Canals.
Or get lucky! Street parking. Here I’m looking West down Venice Blvd. South.
Okay, we’re parked let’s get bikes. Hey, there’s another Perry’s, right in the N. Venice parking lot.
Rates and Procedure.
In case you can’t read that…
You have to fill out and sign a waiver. You need a credit card or debit card, a driver’s license or a passport. Payment is cash only and rates range from $8 an hour to $25 a day for a cruiser, mountain bike or rollerblades.
Let’s have a look at a couple of other out of the way bike rental spots nearby. The main Venice Boardwalk is actually Ocean Front Walk. This bike rental spot is just East on 18th Ave. just about a block North of the North Venice parking lot.
And another on 17th Ave.
If you’re stuck in traffic in that last block of Venice North, West of Pacific, check out a couple of Venice landmarks. Here’s the R. Cronk Abbott Kinney mural.
Or a favorite nightlife watering hole (with great food), James Beach, located 60 N Venice Blvd. 310-823-5396